Love for the Bible Led Me to Evolution [Part 1: Fundamentals]

This is the first in a four part series on evolution and Christianity.
Part 1: Fundamentals

Part 2: Scripture
Part 3: Science
Part 4: Consequences


The lover affirms the reality and the otherness of the beloved. Love does not seek to collapse the beloved into terms of itself… when applied to reading texts, this means that the text can be listened to on its own terms.
-N.T. Wright


I had lots of reasons for disbelieving the theory of evolution.

Child of the Faith that I am.

There was the Preacher, the Text, and the Creator… wielding the stories of a formless void, a garden, and a man’s rib, teaching me of the creative God which molded self-images from clay, breathed life into their lungs, walked with them, and spoke to them.  The stories of Adam and Eve laid out for me, in plain terms, an account of a benevolent, miraculous creation…

A far cry from evolution’s 14 billion years of blind chance, struggle, and death.

My love for the Bible, and the God of the Bible, grew deep.  It gave me the book of Genesis, God’s telling of history, and it told me that God didn’t lie (Numbers 23:19). God’s own Word was the starting place, the foundation, the bottom, the place where the buck stopped. Even if the science never lined up with it, it didn’t matter, because I had it on the best of authorities how the earth was created.  

And I was given even more.
Intelligent Design showed me the delicate structure of a life-supporting universe which bore the marks of its Creator. Irreducible Complexity pointed out that certain biological features could not have developed on their own – how could the parts of an eye be useful to an organism (a tenet of evolution) before functioning as a whole? Young Earth Creationists like Kent Hovind taught me about the countless failures of science to accurately measure, well, pretty much anything related to the age of the earth or its contents.

[I hadn’t heard from Kent in a while, and it turns out that he’s serving a 10 year prison sentence for tax evasion.  You can sign a petition to free him here, if you feel so inclined]

My undergraduate equipped me with reasons for reading Genesis 1-3 literally, including its literary prose, use of “the day” which signified a 24 hour day in all of the Old Testament (except in one instance), and Jesus’ reference to a literal Genesis in the book of Matthew – not to mention the theological ramifications of placing death before humankind’s Fall from grace.

But my love for the Bible took me beyond these fundamentals.

To a place where evolution does not threaten the authority of the Bible or its God.  I did not arrive by way of science, or abandoning my faith, or trusting the Bible less… but by way of loving the Book.

I know that many of my family, friends, Christian brothers and sisters will disagree with me;  I know this from personal experience and from the look of religious trends (below).  I don’t think I’m any less a brother to you, or any less of a Christian, because I see how evolution fits (and might even help) our faith.

Only allow me to explain; parts 2, 3, and 4 look at Scripture, Science, and certain theological Consequences, and they will follow shortly.  In the meantime, feel free to voice your experiences, opinions, concerns, or well-deserved praises in the comment section below.

Sociological Stats_on_Evolution

Allen Marshall O'Brien

Allen Marshall O’Brien is the pastor of a UCC church in Northern California and co-host of the Irenicast. He believes in the importance of education, peace, and ecology, throws things to his border collie Sonata, and writes for multiple platforms.

Latest posts by Allen Marshall O'Brien (see all)

Share this: